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Title: A FRAMEWORK FOR WASTEWATER REUSE IN JORDAN: FROM PRESENT STATUS TO FUTURE POTENTIAL, APPLYING THE WASTEWATER REUSE INDEX (WRI) AS INDICATED

Author: Amani Alfarra, Eric Kemp-Benedict, Heinz Hötzl , Nayif Sader, Ben Sonneveld, Wasim Ali, Leif Wolf

Year: 2009

Publisher: European Water Resources Association (EWRA)

Description:

Pressing water scarcity in Jordan increasingly increased the demands to the use of marginal water for agriculture, which the treated wastewater will be most prominent among them. Water management studies reveal that no single source could fully solve the nation's water shortage and many integrated actions are
needed to ensure water availability, suitability and sustainability. Among these options the developments of new water resources such as treated wastewater and brackish water have the potential to augment water supplies, thereby narrowing the gap between available freshwater and total demand. Agriculture is one of the primary essential activities in Jordan in general and in the Jordan Valley in particular. Treated waste water is could be a valuable source for irrigation in the agricultural sector, as an alternative for fresh water resources that are urgently needed by the rapidly growing urban populations. Currently there is an increasing percentage of irrigated areas using treated wastewater. With a fast growing population and expansion of the irrigated areas to meet the food demand the pressure on water resources in Jordan remains of imminent importance. Hence, the urgent call for an analysis of current and potential role of treated wastewater seems justified. Under the umbrella of the project on the Sustainable Management of Available Water Resources with Innovative Technologies (SMART) funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research in Germany an investigation has been carried out in the Jordan Valley to estimate the current wastewater reuse quantities and the potential to increase its utility for agricultural production. In general, the reuse as percentage of total treatment is applied for national and international comparisons. Yet, this index is of limited use for policy decisions as it can not reflect potentialities of waste water use. Therefore, this study introduces a wastewater reuse index (WRI) that reflects the actual
proportion of wastewater reused from the total generated wastewater. We found that the WRI in Jordan steadily increased from 30 per cent in 2004 to 38 in 2007. Efficient use of treated waste water requires the application of new technologies in Jordan like dwellings connected to the sewer system, decentralization of treatment plants to rural and urban settlements and prevention of high evaporation rates from stabilization ponds.